How to Create a Compass Rose Worksheet

Written by anne baley
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How to Create a Compass Rose Worksheet
Draw a compass rose to teach directions. (Black compass rose image by Makhnach from

A compass rose is the elaborate round design on a map that indicates directions. If you are teaching a science course about weather, or a social studies class about map making, you will need to acquaint your students with the compass rose. Make a blank worksheet with minimal clues and allow your students to fill in the compass directions. A compass rose looks very complicated to create, but with a few simple tricks, you can make one easily and quickly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Insert the pencil into the cage in the compass and close the locking mechanism. This will hold the pencil securely to enable the compass to draw circles.

  2. 2

    Place the point of the compass in the centre of the paper. Place the pencil just inside the edge of the paper. Draw around the paper, keeping the point in place, until you have drawn a perfect circle.

  3. 3

    Keep the point in the same place. Move the pencil in toward the centre. When the pencil is about 3/4 of the way toward the centre, create another, smaller circle.

  4. 4

    Draw a vertical line through the circles, right where the point of the compass was placed. Draw a horizontal line at this same point. You have created a cross design that points to the major directions in the compass. Make sure that the cross lines end where they touch the larger circle.

  5. 5

    Draw a small X in the centre of the circles, with the ends pointing toward NE, NW, SE and SW. Make sure that all legs of the X are the same length and that they only reach about halfway toward the smaller circle.

  6. 6

    Draw a line from the NE X tip to the N point on the cross. Draw a line from the NW X tip to the N point on the cross. You have now made the north point on your compass. Draw lines from the SE and SW X tips to the S point on the cross. You now have the south point.

  7. 7

    Draw lines from the NE and SE X points to the E point on the cross to create the east compass point, and draw lines from the NW and SW X points to the W cross point to make the west compass point.

  8. 8

    Draw a line between the outer NW point and the spot where the N arrow touches the inner circle. Draw another line between the outer NW point and the spot where the W arrow touches the inner circle. You have now created the NW compass point. Add the compass points for NE, SW and SE to complete the compass rose design.

  9. 9

    Label the top point "North" for a reference point for students. Draw a box outside of the other seven points so that the students can fill in each compass point name during the lesson.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are a quilter, this is how to draft a Mariner's Compass pattern.

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